Actually there are a lot of them. But I've always treasured this story told by Katherine Paterson when she spoke to the fifth graders at the Baltimore school where I was a librarian.
Speaking about BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA which had just won the Newbery Medal, she talked about hope and sadness and death. I wish I could recall her exact quote, but I'll never forget the gist of her answer to a girl sitting right in front of her on the floor. The student was very sad about Leslie's death in the book. Katherine said to her (not an exact quote so please don't use it as such): There are worse things than losing a friend through death.
She went on to say friends could be lost forever and never celebrated, their stories never told again, simply by moving away, through a disagreement, a falling out.
Thanks to Caroline by Line for helping me remember that day with Katherine Paterson.
And for starting a conversation on her blog about the difficult things we choose to write.
Here's a quote about hope, now on Caroline's blog:
"I cannot, will not, withhold from my young readers the harsh realities of human hunger and suffering and loss, but neither will I neglect to plant that stubborn seed of hope that has enabled our race to outlast wars and famines and the destruction of death. If you think that this is the limitation that will keep me forever a writer for the young, perhaps it is. I don’t mind. I do what I can and do it joyfully.”
-Katherine Paterson, A SENSE OF WONDER: ON READING AND WRITING BOOKS FOR CHILDREN